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SUMMER IS COMING TO HAMILTON HALL - and if you are sensible and you go to our SPECIAL OFFERS PAGE you will see how you can save up to 50% off a visit here - by booking one week and getting the second absolutely free.
Summer is always the best time to be living by the coast and not in a city somewhere. Bournemouth - Dorset - is the Number One Seaside Resort on the south coast with far more to offer that anywhere else on the south coast and Brighton, sorry Lovie Lovies - you have been left far behind as Bournemouth surges past the 'Best Seaside Resort' post in the race with miles to spare.
The History of Bournemouth

Until the early 19th century, the area in which Bournemouth now stands was just heathland where cattle grazed. In 1810, Lewis Tregonwell - regarded as the first inhabitant and founder of Bournemouth - visited the beach with his wife. She loved the area and persuaded him to build a house there. He purchased 8 1/2 acres and built a house with cottages for his butler and gardener.

Tregonwell later bought more land in the area and landowners planted pines on the heath, but there was no settlement at Bournemouth until 1837.

At the end of the 18th century, spending time at the seaside became very popular among the rich and middle classes. Many new resorts were built including Brighton, Eastbourne and Bognor Regis. In 1836, Sir George Tapps-Gervis decided to create a seaside resort at Bournemouth. He appointed an architect from Christchurch called Ben Ferrey to design it. Villas were built for families to hire during the summer.

By 1840 a little village had been built at Bournemouth. In that year, the stagecoach which travelled from Southampton to Weymouth began to call at Bournemouth, a sure sign that the village was beginning to establish itself. The same year a guide book for the resort was published.

Tapps-Gervis died in 1842 but the building work carried on and by 1851 the first shops had appeared in Commercial Road. Bournemouth was still a little village with a population of only 695 but it was growing rapidly and by 1861 Bournemouth had risen to 1,707.

Bournemouth Police Force was founded in 1856 and local government began in the same year when an Act of Parliament set up a body of men responsible for paving, cleaning and lighting the streets. They also had powers to provide sewers and drains.

In 1864 the town gained gas street lighting and in 1866 a piped water supply was installed. A volunteer fire brigade was formed in 1870 and the improvement commissioners were replaced by a mayor and aldermen in 1890. Bournemouth's famous pier started life as a little wooden jetty in 1855. In 1861 a wooden pier was built and was replaced in 1880 by an iron version. The railway reached Bournemouth in 1870, which made it far easier for people to travel to the resort and increased the number of visitors. Victorian Bournemouth grew at a phenomenal rate. By 1881 the population stood at 16,859 and, ten years later, had more than doubled as it reached 37,000 in 1891.

The old advert here for Hamilton Hall was 2½ gns per week and that is about £2.10p per week. In 1877 Red House was built by the Prince of Wales for Lillie Langtry. Then in 1885 the Mont Dore Hotel was built. It was supposed to be a health resort where guests were given spring water from the Auvergne. In 1921 it was turned into the Town Hall. The 1870s saw the Winter Gardens and Pleasure Gardens laid out and Bournemouth Arcade had sprung up by this time too. Villages near Bournemouth were now growing rapidly and in 1876 Boscombe and Springbourne were made part of the town.

Boscombe Pier was built in 1889 and it got its own railway station in 1897. In 1884 the boundaries of Bournemouth were extended again to include Westbourne.

A doctor had also bought land to the east of Bournemouth and had called it Southbourne on Sea. It was originally intended to be a rival resort but it was soon swallowed up by the growing conurbation and became part of Bournemouth in 1901.

In 1881 Pokesdown was still a small village with a population of only 838. Ten years later, it had gained its own railway station and numbers had grown to 1,871. In 1894 it was given an urban district council in recognition of its rapidly growing size and by 1900 was home to 5,500 people. It too was made part of Bournemouth in 1901.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1893, the first library was opened in 1895 and the Bournemouth Echo started publication in 1900.

By 1901 the population of Bournemouth had reached 59,000 and the first electric trams started ferrying people around the town.

Bournemouth Municipal College opened in 1913 - it's now called Bournemouth and Poole College.

The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum dates back to 1922 when Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes gave their house and all its furnishings and works of art to the town.

The Pavilion - now a popular venue for touring shows, West End hits and pantomime - was built in 1929.

In 1931 the boundaries of Bournemouth were extended again to include Kinson, Wallisdown and Holdenhurst. However, in 1936 Bournemouth was afflicted by a typhoid epidemic.

In 1939 many schoolchildren were evacuated from Portsmouth and Southampton to Bournemouth. It was hoped that they would be safe from the horrors of the Second World War but Bournemouth did not escape bombing entirely and 219 people were killed.

Now an world class concert and exhibition venue, Bournemouth International Centre was built in 1984.

Bournemouth University was founded in 1992 – it had previously been a polytechnic.

Bournemouth was made a unitary authority in 1997 and the historic Town Hall building is home to Bournemouth Borough Council which includes the Tourism Marketing, Events and Destination Development teams.

Tourism remains an important industry in Bournemouth and in recent years has been complemented by the rise of other sectors such as finance, insurance and digital industries. Bournemouth is a prosperous town with a wealth of accommodation facilities, visitor attractions, bars and restaurants. Its population stands at 197,700 and Hamilton Hall re opened after being an old folks home for 10 years - having always been a boarding house since its original build - as a men only venue in March 2000 and has gone from strength to strength, and - how many gay venues have been mentioned on CNN / Sky-Fox / BBC1 and 2 - Channel 3,4 and 5 as well as being mentioned as far away as Australia on the main news, Hong Kong, America and all over Europe.

The picture of Hamilton Hall above - and little did the grand old lady know that one day she would be filled with gay men ... ha ha ... and you know what, I have always felt the house absolutely loves what I have done here and loves the excitement, madness, sex and all that goes into running this place and the house resonates a wonderful welcoming energy as soon as you walk in.



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